Wesley Schultz, the lead singer and co-songwriter for Americana/folk rock giants the Lumineers, first heard “Pretty Paper” when his parents played Willie’s classic 1978 holiday album of the same name while driving around their New Jersey neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. The song was one of Willie’s earliest big hits as a songwriter, with Wink’s favorite son, Roy Orbison, taking it to number fifteen on the Billboard pop singles chart in late 1963, and it went on to become such a Yuletide standard that a lot of listeners don’t even know Willie wrote it.
On this special holiday episode of One by Willie, Wesley talks about “Pretty Paper” and how the song’s quiet loneliness is sometimes exactly what he needs when Christmas rolls around … which prompts an unexpected, apples-to-apples comparison between Willie and Bruce Springsteen, and an explanation of how absolutely rare it is to find a Christmas song you can listen to all year long.
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